Live updates

'Blood donations are so important, transfusions keep our child alive'

Family share their experience of how blood donations have helped them

The number of people donating blood has fallen dramatically across the region. The blood supplies are essential for the health service to save lives, so a campaign has been launched to find a new generation of blood donors.

Figures released by the NHS Blood and Transplant service show fewer than three per cent of us donate regularly. As Caron Bell reports, the organisation hopes more young people will come forward.

Man bailed after arrest over sexual assaults at hospital

Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey at centre of sexual assault allegations

A man who was arrested by police on Monday in connection with an investigation into reports of sexual assaults at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey, has been released on bail pending further enquiries.

While Surrey Police revealed that the man had been interviewed and bailed until 21 September 2015, neither the police force nor the hospital would comment on whether the arrested man was an employee at the hospital.

“We are not in a position to comment further on the statement from Surrey Police at this stage of the investigation, except to say that the hospital took steps as soon as an allegation was made to ensure that no patients could subsequently be at risk.”

– Spokesman for Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust


Man arrested after reports of sexual assaults at hospital

A man has been arrested in connection with a number of sexual offences at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey.

Surrey Police have been investigating the case with the Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust after reports of a sexual assault having taken place in November last year.

Since then officers have received further allegations of other offences which are now part of an ongoing investigation.

"We have specially trained officers who deal with reports of sexual assaults and I would urge anybody who feels they have ever been a victim of such an incident to report it immediately in the confidence that we will take it seriously and investigate it fully.

"Alternatively you can report any crime in complete anonymity to the independent charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.”

– Detective Sergeant Gary Hutchings from the Safeguarding Investigating Unit

Tattoos and exotic travel contribute to drop in blood donors

The number of people giving blood has dropped by 40% Credit: PA

An increase in tattoos and exotic foreign travel is being blamed for a drop in the number of new blood donors in the south.

National Blood Week starts today with a campaign to encourage more people to give blood, after the number of volunteers dropped by 40 percent.

It's due in part to restrictions on people who've been to certain countries or had tattoos in recent months.

The top three reasons for not giving blood were a fear of needles (22%), not getting around to it (27%) and health problems meaning people don't believe they're able to donate (21%).

An increase in the number of people having tattoos has contributed to the drop in donors Credit: PA

When you can't give blood:

You have a chesty cough, sore throat or active cold sore.

If you are pregnant or have given birth in the last six months.

You are currently taking antibiotics or you have finished a course within the last seven days or have had any infection in that last two weeks.

You've had hepatitis or jaundice in the last 12 months.

You've had a tattoo, semi-permanent make-up or any cosmetic treatment that involves skin piercing in the last four months.

You are a male and have had sexual intercourse with a man - with or without a condom - in the last 12 months

You've had acupuncture in the last four months, unless this was done within the NHS or by a qualified healthcare professional registered with a statutory body.A member of your family (parent, brother, sister or child) has suffered with CJD (Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease).

You've ever received human pituitary extract (which was used in some growth hormone or fertility treatments before 1985).

You've received blood or think you may have received blood during the course of any medical treatment or procedure anywhere in the world since 1 January 1980.

There are also restrictions for 12 months if you've had sex with certain people, including sex workers and anyone who's ever injected themselves with drugs.

Asda recalls gluten-free products that may contain gluten

Asda today recalled a number of gluten-free products, warning they could actually contain the protein composite.

The supermarket giant said the problem had been caused by a production site using an incorrect flour batch.It warned that in each case there could be a possible health risk to anyone who was allergic or had an intolerance to gluten.

Products affected were: Asda Free From 2 Pizza Bases with best before code of either 26.06.2015 or 30.06.2015; Asda Free From Garlic & Coriander Naan Breads with best before code of either 03.07.2015, 07.07.2015 or 09.07.2015; and Asda Free From 4 White Pitta Bread with best before code of either 26.06.2015, 30.06.2015 or 02.07.2015.

Anyone who had purchased these products was asked to return them to their nearest store to receive a full refund. They would not need their receipt.

A spokeswoman said: "We are very sorry for any inconvenience caused and will ensure this doesn't happen again."

Father's epic Skye challenge from Oxfordshire

A father is looking for people to join him on all or part of his journey as he takes on an epic fundraising challenge this summer in memory of his son.

Skye Hall died last August, aged five, after being diagnosed with medulloblastoma, an aggressive and cancerous brain tumour.

His father, Andrew Hall, 43, from Oxford, has organised 2Skye4Skye, a challenge which will see people travel from Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire to the highest point on the Isle of Skye in Scotland to raise money for the charity that he and his wife, Sally, established in Skye's name - Blue Skye Thinking.

Skye Hall Credit: PA

The 636-mile journey, taking in the Peak District, the Lake District, Loch Lomond, and Scotland's west coast, will include a combination of cycling, kayaking and hill walking.

Andrew said: "I wanted to do something special to celebrate Skye's life and have spent a long time thinking about what that should be.

"Then a very dear friend, Ed Blagrove, announced that he would like to do events in 2015 totalling the distance from Oxfordshire to the Isle of Skye.

Having done a few crazy things in the past myself, it seemed logical to take up the challenge and travel to the Isle of Skye itself.

"We will be departing from Blenheim Palace at 10am on Saturday 25 July and are looking to complete the journey in 10 days.

"This will not only be a physical challenge, but one filled with emotion for me, but I am sure Skye would have loved to have been part of this, as he loved the outdoors. We are looking for people to join us for some or all of the adventure and hope to get a good group together to take part."

The first day will see cyclists ride north through Oxfordshire and into Warwickshire passing through Nuneaton and on to the spa town of Buxton.

The journey continues through to Manchester, and on to Lancaster and the Lakes, where the cyclists will swap their bikes for a paddle, and kayak the length of Lake Windermere to Ambleside, where they will once again hop into the saddle and continue through to Carlisle and cross the border into Scotland.

The journey continues through Kilmarnock and Glasgow and follows the bank of Loch Lomond to its northernmost tip and then winds in the Scottish hills towards Fort William, where it is envisaged that Ben Nevis will be conquered en route to Skye.

Once reaching Skye, the final challenge will be to summit Sgurr Alasdair, the highest point on the Isle of Skye.

All the money raised will go into research into new treatments for childhood cancer. The charity's next goal is to reach £200,000 to put into place a post-doctoral researcher for three years.


Child in Dorset diagnosed with E coli

One of two children suspected of having a rare form of E coli, does have the illness.

It takes the total number of confirmed cases to four. Three of these, including two children, are in hospital. A fifth person linked to the same household as the four cases has tested negative.

Although E. coli O55 is a rarely encountered strain of the illness a number of cases were reported in Dorset last year. The extensive ongoing multi-agency investigation has not identified a common link between all of the cases.

Berkshire surgery to be run by health trust

A GP practice in Reading has been placed into the emergency care of the local NHS trust after being put into special measures earlier this year.

Priory Avenue Surgery received a damning report by the Care Quality Commission which identified problems with access to doctors and a shortage of both clinical and non clinical staff.

It will now be run by the Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust which also manages Prospect Park Hospital in Reading and the West call out-of-hours GP service. Mel Bloor has our report.

Load more updates